Food can be medicine, especially the preventative kind. Here are some tips for what to eat and what to avoid to keep your immune system functioning optimally.

Ditch sugar

As the creator of Sugar Free 3, I have delved deep into the research. In addition to other ways sugar is detrimental to health, consuming too much hampers the proliferation of beneficial gut bacteria and over-feeds the bad guys, which weakens your immunity.

Add gut-friendly foods to your plate

A healthy gut makes you less vulnerable to viruses. Add fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and kefir to your diet. Allium-rich veggies (garlic, onions, scallions, chives, leeks, shallots) are known for their powerful anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and feed your gut the fiber and prebiotics it thrives on

Eat your greens

Work greens into every possible meal to amp the phytonutrients and fiber that keep your immune defenses strong. Eat greens with your eggs, salads at dinner, throw some kale or fresh chopped herbs into soups and blends greens to your smoothies.

Drink immunity-boosting beverages

Skip alcohol for now and brew up hot tea drinks made with immune-boosting ingredients such as fresh ginger. Add bone broth to your sipping schedule as well; Broths made from grass-fed animals deliver amino acids like arginine, glutamine and glycine — all of which are excellent immunity reinforcements.

Spice up your meals

Load on ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, thyme and cayenne pepper! Not only will they add considerably more flavor to everything you eat, but they also provide powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiviral benefits.


  • Michele Promaulayko



    Michele Promaulayko is an award-winning print and digital editor. She is currently the Editorial-Director-at-Large for THE WELL and an advisor to several healthy lifestyle brands. Most recently, she was the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, the largest women’s media brand in the world, and the Editorial Director of Hearst’s Young Women’s Group, which also includes Women’s Health and Seventeen.

    Previously, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Health, and before that, she was the Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health for six years where she oversaw the magazine, digital site, apps and books. In 2011, Women’s Health won the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence and was again nominated for that same honor in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2017, Cosmo won a National Magazine Award for Personal Service and received another nod for that accolade in 2018.

    Michele is the author of two books on wellness, Look Better Naked and 20 Pounds Younger, and is working on a third. She has been an expert guest on TV programs including Today, Good Morning America, The Doctors, CNN, EXTRA, Rachael Ray, Fox News and The Dr. Oz Show. Michele was also chosen to participate in the inaugural group of mentors for the Gloria Steinem Media Mentoring Program at the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University. She resides in Manhattan.